While most advisors focus on trying to generate referrals from long-term satisfied clients, the reality is that it’s possible to start generating referrals by creating “wow” experiences for clients from the very first moment they say “yes” and begin the onboarding experience with the advisory firm. Which means it’s worth spending time thinking about and looking at how you onboard clients, and the kinds of first impressions you set. Some potential ways to improve the client onboarding experience include: 1) have other members of your team contact the new client to introduce themselves, by a phone call, a handwritten note, or even just stepping into the initial meeting when the client is in the office (which helps the client understand the depth of the team, how well they will be supported, and put a face and an initial relationship to the other people who the client will be interacting with in the future); 2) invite the new client to a client appreciation event (or even just take the new client to lunch, or a ball game or golf outing, or any other fun event to start building the “business friendship”); 3) consider creating an “expectations agreement” (i.e., client engagement standards), that helps to set out clear communication and service expectations with the client; 4) conduct a follow-up phone review the first time the client gets a statement with their new accounts, to help affirm that they understand everything and don’t have any questions or concerns); 5) send them a physical book (don’t underestimate the perceived value of something tangible!), either related to the work you do, or something related to their hobbies or interests (which helps to show them you were listening and they were heard!); 6) connect with them via social media; and 7) create a “welcome package” to celebrate their onboarding as a new client (which could include cookies or sweets, fun items for their children, gift cards or coupons, a card signed by your team, etc.) and help make the new client process a memorable experience.